Swiss Re Australian study shows that rehabilitation delivers significant cost savings

Swiss Re has launched its first Rehabilitation Watch 2014 for the Australian market. Derived from data from participating life insurance companies, it covers the costs, benefits and trends of rehabilitation services in the life insurance industry.

The study looks at the costs, benefits and trends of rehabilitation services in the Australian life insurance industry. Nine of Australia’s major life insurance companies provided data and commentary for the study, including those who offer individual and/or group insurance data, as well as multiple product lines data. The research was based on claims received and managed in the 2013 calendar year.

The takeaways are:

  • The key determinant to the success of rehabilitation intervention is the claimant’s attitude and motivation.
  • On average, insurers are initiating rehabilitation programs at least 12 months after the date of notification or date of disability.
  • Insurers are able to demonstrate the cost-benefit of rehabilitation with a positive return on investment: for every dollar spent on rehabilitation services, insurers saved between $24 and $39 on claims costs.
  • Only 5-6% of income protection claimants are engaged in rehabilitation services.
  • The degree of stakeholder engagement is clearly linked to the level of knowledge and understanding of the purpose of rehabilitation services.
  • 100% of participating insurers agreed that rehabilitation would play more of a role in the future Australian life insurance market.

The data and commentary from this inaugural study will assist insurers to improve rehabilitation services. Swiss Re will use the findings to make comparisons in future editions of Rehabilitation Watch and to gain a deeper understanding of the impact of rehabilitation intervention.

For further information about this report go to